On May 27, 2022, Representative Steve Cohen (Democrat from Tennessee), Representative Jim Cooper (Democrat from Tennessee), Representative Scott DesJarlais (Republican from Tennessee) and Representative Chuck Fleischmann (Republican from Tennessee) introduced House Bill #7884, the “Benton MacKaye Scenic Trail Act”, which, if approved by Congress and signed by the President, will designate the Benton MacKaye Trail a National Scenic Trail!
Congressman Cohen announced the Introduction of the “Benton MacKaye Scenic Trail Act” in his May 27, 2022, press release.
Getting this far is an achievement to celebrate! But we still have a long way to go. The bill that was recently introduced in the House is just the first step of many steps to be taken.
We need to enlist the support of more representatives for the Benton MacKaye Scenic Trail Act. We also need to garner the support of senators. Our expectation is that, eventually, this bill will be rolled into a larger bill – one that deals with public lands or natural resources.
Our continued success depends on YOU! Please email, or better yet, write to your representatives in the House and Senate to tell them why you believe the BMT should be designated a National Scenic Trail. Ask them for their support in this endeavor!
And if your Congressional Representative is Steve Cohen, Jim Cooper, Scott DesJarlais or Chuck Fleischmann; please consider writing or even better, calling, to thank them for recognizing the BMT is an exceptional candidate to be designated a National Scenic Trail!
Thoughts to include in your note to your representative:
- Becoming a National Scenic Trail will bring an economic boost to communities near the trail.
- Thousands of hikers use the Benton MacKaye Trail every year.
- Scenic vistas, spectacular waterfalls and bubbling streams highlight the hikers’ journey as they enjoy the wide array of wildflowers in the spring, the emerald-green forest of summer, the colorful fall leaves or an exquisite winter wonderland.
- Hikers and their families will patronize local campgrounds, restaurants, lodging, shuttles, outdoor retailers, etc.
- The 750-member Benton MacKaye Trail Association has a 40-year history of maintaining the 288-mile-long Benton MacKaye Trail.
- The trail is complete — it has just 15 miles of road walk remaining.
- This would be good for the awe-inspiring natural landscapes that encompass the BMT and at the same time, would be a boon to the local economies.
- Be sure to include that you are a constituent!
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